Of course we all know it’s best to stay active. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your lungs, and it’s good for your waistline. The thing that surprises some new Mommies, though, is how hard it is to stay active with a new baby.
When you’re going on a few cat-naps a day instead of real sleep, when your boobs are sore and you haven’t had a hot meal in a week, the absolute last thing you want to do is hit the gym. All you want to hit is your bed, or maybe all those smiling super-mom types who seem to make it look easy…in their skinny jeans and already-perfect figures.
Some of us…most of us…don’t have the genes that put us back into our old jeans just weeks after pregnancy. Unfortunately it is a cruel fact that we have to work at it, and we can’t just let go and skip it no matter how tempting. Working out is necessary for other things than weight-loss, like health and upping our life years, and we need a way to fit it in between feedings, diaperings, and snuggles.
The good news is that you CAN stay active, even with a newborn and very little sleep.
You don’t have to go to the gym every other day and hit the weights and treadmills to get active, or even to be active enough to lose weight and be healthy. In fact, you don’t have to hit the gym at all if you don’t want to.
Ok, so when?
The great thing about “being active” is that it is a broad term with no set limits or requirements. You can carve out 30 minutes twice a day, an hour every morning or evening, or 5 minutes several times each day. There are no rules!
Some exercises are great to do while your baby naps, or after bedtime if you can hold your eyes open another few minutes…others can be done with your baby as a sort of game. And many things can be done with your baby right there nearby.
Give me some ideas!
If you do have the time, a dance or yoga class for Moms might be fun. Some places offer classes AND daycare! There is also such thing as a Mommy-and-Me Class offered in some fitness centers where you can work out with your munchkin.
When you venture out of the house, walk everywhere you can…if you’re close to where you shop, break out the stroller and stroll on! You can also try just walking around the block or up and down your street with the stroller. For one that will stand up to lots of miles and leave your little one comfy, check out the Uppababy Vista stroller…you can’t beat it for a walking stroller.
If your kids like the park, instead of bench-warming with the other moms, get out there and play! Swing, hang from monkey bars, and play tag with the kids. You could also just walk a few laps on the edges of the playground.
Another idea is to invest in a bicycle trailer and take your kiddos on a ride around town. Just make sure you get one deemed safe by the powers that be. Newborns can’t ride in them, but toddlers and preschoolers can. The trailers are much safer than the bicycle seats that strap on behind you, too!
So, what if I’m stuck at home?
True, some of these ideas are more ideal for those with older babies and toddlers.
If you are pretty well chained to your home by a brand newbie, you can still get some activity.
The cleaning that has to be done doesn’t have to be a chore… Crank up some music you love (something with a beat) and dance around dusting, sashay along with the vacuum, and bop your way through the clothes-folding. If your kids are old enough, let them dance around with the feather duster or a trashcan picking up. If your baby is too little, pull the playpen or bouncy seat into the room so she has a good view of your mean dancing skills.
She won’t tell if you’re terrible. 🙂
If you have an exercise machine of some sort, a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine, you can park it in front of the TV and watch your favorite shows while you work. You can get in a pretty good workout one episode at a time.
Exercise routines, from Pilates and yoga to stripping for fitness are available on DVD, so update your Netflix or Blockbuster queue or hit the local video rental store. With hundreds of titles, you won’t get bored.
You could even exercise with your baby, laying on the floor and lifting her up in the air, swooping down for a kiss, and repeating it a dozen times. She can also lay on your tummy while you lift your legs, and sit in her bounce seat at your feet while you “sit-up” and blow air kisses.
So anything goes!?
Yep, as long as you’re moving, it counts!
This article was written by Laura Cecil. Laura, mama to three kids, is an editor of livesnet.com. Livesnet.com is a place that serves as a great resource for parents looking to find all the info they need on getting ready for their babies. Whether she’s writing her reviews or sharing tips on this site,she just wants to take care of her kids better and help parents live better with their loves. Please visit livesnet and read her recent hot articles on uppababy vista stroller.
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